DSA NorthStar Elections Video Webinar - Shared screen with speaker view
Should everyone introduce themselves on chat ?
People should feel free to introduce themselves but the main purpose of the chat is for people to list questions they want to ask the panel.
Duane Campbell, Sacramento, California
Goal is to identify any questions that multiple people want answered to make sure those get answered by the panel.
Jose Gutierrez, Washington DC
Daniel Bryant (New Member) in Pembroke Pines, FL
Bill Barclay and Preg Strobel - now in CA: hi all
Head of AFLCIO write an article boasting of labor's success in the elections. SEemed like BS to me. The nonpublicaation of member survey strengthens it.
Ilhan Omar, Congressperson for Minneapolis, is a democratic socialist as well, but not (yet) self-identified, as far as I know.
Re: rural--everybody in farm country HATES corporate farming.
Please develop questions as we go along.
Question. How do we fight the tweedle-dee tweedle-dum view?
Another couple of data points in support of Harold’s rural ambiguity idea. Oregon had both a ballot measure that would have ended public funding of abortion care in the Oregon Health Plan (our Medicaid), and one that would have ended a prohibition on use of state and local public resources to help enforce federal immigration policy (overstated as a sanctuary law, still a good law). Both were massively rejected by over 60%. Both had No majorities in 18 of Oregon
Warm Bodies is an exception
’S 36 counties. Those 18 counties included 10 that voted majority Trump in 2016. Also, No still won statewide if you removed the three Portland metro area counties.
While TV ads and even election door-knocking can't reclaim zombie Trump supporters, would Bill agree that non-electoral organizaing through unions and other issue campaigns is the first step from breaking those zombie media bubbles the Trump folks live in? And is that even where efforts should focus versus organizing the disaffected who don't vote?
Typically Dems win statewide offices & presidential votes with the three metro counties, Lane County (Eugene/ U. of O.) and one or two counties on or near the coast in the NW corner of the state.
So this raises now two questions. What can we do to connect with and understand the dynamics in rural communities?
In rural areas, the population tends to be older. Issues like pre-existing conditions are big. Defining the existing welfare state, ie. social security and medicare will be key issues. Can we break off some of the Trump base on defense of that spending?
The unions locally in NY are on defensive and disappointing their community partners over and over.
Harold: If self-proclaimed American "democratic socialists" and progressive Democrats are so similar, why not promote the broader label of social democracy?Bill: How do you respond to Trump voters like Richard Ojeda, who've gone left?
How do we find and develop more candidates like AOC? IMO that should be a priority for DSA as an organization. How we work in the mass left, working in social movements to push DP to the left and take it away from Clintonoids is a different question.
I agree the Union movement is in paralysis. The problem is from my experience with AFT is that unions need to double-down on economic issues.
And does this outcome undermine Bill’s idea of the Trump base as zombies? At least point possibly to a distinction between core base and a significant segment of his 2016 voters?
One issue we face with social democracy is that the new-new left does not understand what social democracy is and thinks social democrats are “capitalists” and not socialist enough.
That's why there needs to be more education re: social democracy. AOC and Tlaib are essentially socdems.
I agree as is Bernie and that is a good thing
We can explain social democracy to red hot new socialists as the only feasible path toward socialism, applying socialist values of equality and democracy in limted ways to build the power of the working class and reduce the power of plutocracy.
Gerard (jerry) Lynch
Jerry in Houston. TX. How to win in rural areas?
Even in CA there are variations in union activity - more in cities than in sububs and rural areas. We worked for Katie Hill in a kargely suburben areav (where she defeated a sitting GOP) and there was no evidence of union involvement. There was, however, very large women, esp young women, involvement. Neither speaker discussed thjis gender split that is particiularly a potential base against trumpism. Any thoughts?
What do we do if the zombies control a bunch of small states and therefore the Senate, without having majority of popular vote? Do we end up with a hard faceoff between popular support for Dems in the House and a GOP Senate in the medium-term and what do we do about it?
White America incorrectly believes that government program like food stamps, welfare affirmative action, increased spending on education comes at a cost to them.
Can we stop saying “white working class” and start saying “working class whites” which is more accuraate? White workers are not a class but a demographic category. Working class whites, notably including Obama/Trump voters, can be pulled back into a coalition with working class POC (especially by unions but also by other means including narrative as Bill is saying.
I’m not sure if arguing about social democracy directly will work that well. I think focusing on why frontline marginalized communities prioritize defense first might be a better first cut. And then bring in social democratic ideas as a stronger choice for fighting defense while setting up a class conscious base for offense.
Mark Schaeffer, amen!
Mark is right. Our terminology should be working class whites, not white working class.
Actually we should say "evangelical white voters" since the broad majority of non-evangelical whites voted for the Democrats. How should we address religion as opposed to education or income which is the more relevant dividing line currently among whites in voting patterns?
Correct on the term.
Some of the crazy antiimmigrant and antiblack stuff is in areas, like Idaho, where there are very few immigrants or blacks. I saw something interesting today that a lot of the problem in rural white america is that they feel abandoned. They have been abandoned--by capiatal, by their own families and neighbors that left for cities/the coast.
Dealing with non-leftists/progressives, there's a real issue with messaging. A lot of people favor "medicare for all" but not "single payer."
Part of taking on race needs to include educating people that race isn't real. It's a social rea;lity but not a biological category. The eugenics movement a centruy ago would not have included many of the fair skinned people on this call as really being white
Another appeal for clarity: the term “Neoliberalism” was introduced by Hayek’s Mt Pelerin society as a nice sounding term for reactionary laisser faire dismantling the welfare state. See the book Democracy in Chains. NLism now is used to denote and conflate two different politcal tendencies: Reagan-Thatcher reaction, and Clinton/Blair/Rubin corporate liberalism, whis is conservative rather than reactionary.
Defining Orange County as "suburban" these days is a bit misleading. Irvine is a city of hundreds of thousands of people and, as far as I know, many of the residents work there.
rite on about the age of the zombies. i live in ruralish texas and the youth (under 35) know what is up or at minimum they are not zombies yet.
Great discussion. Thanks for organizing this
Also note where people including female Trump supporters get their info - Fox News etc.
There is some movement among religious conservatives around condemning sexual predatory behaviors and around climate change (being good custodians of the earth). How might we work with these conservagives Should we try to?
What would it mean to support rural america? Jesse Jackson made an appeal to smallish farmers. Clinton and Obama didn't really try.
I would guess (w/o seeing data) that for a lot of the female base, abortion trumps all other issues. For much of the Trump base, the message can be Trump is not on your side, he is a con man out only for himself. Anecdotal reports are that some T voters are starting to notice that.
Sorry but it has to be said: there's some zombies in DSA too.
An important step it to continue to support and be close to AOC and the other elected officials. If we allow a distance to grow, the value of the elected officials will decline.
Disagree with you on that one, Mark. Clinton and Blair ratified Reagan in the way that Eisenhower ratified the New Deal. The commonality is austerity and acceptance that markets and the private sector are always more efficient than government. I.e. basically setting political and media hegemony to a place where both the idea of natural public goods and the idea of a mixed economy are excluded. Both were the common sense of the previous period.
I agree it’s about their policies not so much as their labels
Campaigning for a Green New Deal. Attacking money in politics, Medicare for All - these support our Congressional Socialists while building support for the future.
Rural and farmer aren't same category. Small farmers are a small and shrinking part of the population. Rural areas have faced massive deinstrialization. Young pepple don't stick around because there aren't opportunities. There's room to reach out. Bill touched on opoid crisis. Harold identified anti-corporate sentiment.
Question: Can the discussants talk about the balance between “inside” and “outside” in inside/outside strategy? Inside and outside electoralism? And inside and outside of the Democratic Party?
Which progressive elected orgss? WFP? Our Revolution?
I agree that defeating clintonism and blairism within the DP and BLP are high priorities for us and comrades across the pond. But on policy, Clinton passed a significant progressive tax reform, while also pushing corporate policies like NAFTA and telecom dereg. Reaganites are more aggressively reactionaory on everything.
Also racist and sexist
Can we also face up to significant problems inside the DP? The idea that the DP doesn’t listen to people is widespread and in my view quite justified in many instances.
The left wing of the Democrats has been revitalized. That needs to be taken advantage of.
I've been promoting social democractic ideas in my local chapter of YDMA.
Now they've appointed me their "progressive outreach liason."
The DP has to be approached as multiple parties.
How can we position ourselves as the socialist wing of the progressive coalition?
Gerard (jerry) Lynch
I agree w. Duane it is important to support AOC even if she at times might make staments that do not excite some in Brooklyn
We will learn how to build the Left in rural areas and eonomically declining small towns when we build DSA groups in those areas that campaign arounid issues, and support local activists in electoral and other campaigns. If we do not do that, we are whistling in the dark.
Completely agree Mark. I think claims that there are no differences between the parties is fatuous. But that doesn’t mean they don’t both accept the basic premises of neoliberalism (austerity and apotheosis of markets) and actively seek to suppress other viewpoints inside the parties.
I hope AOC is invited to the next YDS conrerence
Daniel C Adkins